WASHINGTON BUREAU–A Republican runoff in Oklahoma this week has set the stage for a colorful race for state insurance commissioner between the state’s first woman commissioner and a Republican who is challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare law.
The Republican challenger is John Doak, who Tuesday won the GOP runoff, securing more than 71% of the vote against former insurance commissioner John Crawford.
Doak is opposing Kim Holland, who was elected in November 2006, after having been appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in January 2005 to fill an unexpired term.
Holland also serves as secretary-treasurer for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and formerly as NAIC Midwest zone chair. She is also a part of the NAIC task force working to implement the healthcare reform law.
Doak, who calls himself “Okie Doak,” has served as an agent for Farmers Insurance and State Farm Insurance. He also has served in executive positions with Marsh Inc., New York; and Aon Risk Services Inc., a unit of Aon Corp., Chicago.
Doak is a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against “Obama Care” and is an advocate of implementing health care solutions at the state level.
“The full focus can now turn to the differences between me and the Democratic candidate, Kim Holland, who was a 2008 Oklahoma delegate for Barack Obama,” Doak said. “I have bipartisan support across the state. And Oklahomans will have a clear choice to make in November.”
In defending her performance, Holland said through her campaign team that, “Insurance regulation is serious business that affects every family and every business in Oklahoma.”
She added: “I’m proud of the work we have done to clean up an office after decades of controversy and corruption. Integrity has been restored to the office and the Oklahoma Insurance Department is held in high regard in our state and across the nation.
“Regulating with integrity requires that I maintain an independent stance principled on facts, not politics,” she said. “That is why I successfully sued the state to prevent a tax on health insurance. I am committed to continuing my work as the people’s trusted watchdog and advocate.”